Can your wireless router be hacked ?. Yes it can. A home router can be vulnerable to be hacked if not properly configured. If your Home wireless router is exposed to the other users in the vicinity, you should be aware that it can be hacked.
This article explains 6 ways your home wireless router can be hacked and what to do about it.
How wireless router is hacked using external IP address.
Your wireless router is exposed to the internet. To access the internet, the router would have a public IP address. You may not be aware, but your router can be accessed using web or ftp from the internet if the IP address is known. Some routers have this enabled by default.
A software tool called www.shodan.io is an online tool for discovering devices on the internet. Using this tool, hackers can find devices exposed and also if they are using the default admin creadentials.
Once the accessed is gained, it would be a simple process to access the router.
To prevent this hack, the default username and password credentials should be changed and remote access to the router from the internet should be blocked.
How wireless router is hacked using insecure internal devices.
There are a number of devices which are inside your home network. These could be your PC, Mobiles, Laptops, Smart appliances etc. Assume that a laptop access a malware infected website which would then download a remote trojan. A remote trojan is a malware which can then make it possible for the hacker to access the PC from outisde.
By controlling the laptop, the hacker can get access to the internal network and access the router using multiple techniques.
To prevent this hack, you should use a Wireless router with inbuilt firewall. When this is used, the malware attack would be blocked by the firewall in the wireless router and it would not traverse the network.
Router with firewall recommendation
How wireless router is hacked using port forwarding
Port forwarding is a feature which allows wireless routers to forward requests coming from the internet to a PC or device on the network. For example, you can enable remote desktop connection to be forwarded to a PC on the Home network.
If the PC is not configured with any credentials to for login, anyone can access the PC from the internet and gain access to the network.
To mitigate this hack, the PC or the device which is configured for port forwarding should be enabled for valid credentials for login.
How wireless router is hacked using DOS/DDOS attack
A hacker can bring down your network by performing a DOS/DDOS attack on the router. By using tools like www.shodan.io, the IP address of a device on the internet can be discovered with ease.
Once discovered, a DOS/DDOS attack can be launched using various tools.
You could use a Wireless router with inbuilt firewall to block this type of attacks or in some cases, your ISP may block these attacks.
How wireless router is hacked using default credentials
When the default credentials of your router is not changed like keeping the wireless security password and login credentials of the wireless router same as the vendor supplied credentials, it becomes easy for hackers to gain access to the router.
Th default username and password credentials should be changed as soon as the router is up and running.
How wireless router is hacked using outdated firmware
Outdated firmware is usually ignored by normal home users. The manufacturer releases updated firmware for its products on a periodic basis. This could also include updates for protection against known exploits on these products.
If you do not update your firmware, your device is exposed to these known vulnerabilities and hackers can exploit them.
To mitigate this attack, you should update your firmware on a periodic basis. This is a simple process where you log in to the router and click the update firmware option.
Enesure that you are aware of the above 6 ways and their mitigation technique when you configure the router at home.